Why? This is a question I will ask myself countless times across tonight’s episode of Love Island. Why is no one in this villa attracted to one another? Why are our most hopeful prospects Paige and Luca? Why are Gemma and Davide making lemonade on their date? Why am I still watching this?
Three hours into season eight and the answers are yet to reveal themselves. Any longtime Love Island viewer will recognise this plight. The first two or even three weeks of the ITV show are notoriously, mind-numbingly boring, but put in the hours and you reap the rewards: an overblown sense of affiliation for people you’ve never met and a modicum of drama to chat about on Twitter. Those initial three weeks are also a critical window – your only chance to get out while you can. Three episodes in, and I’m eyeing the door.
Again, at this stage, we’re prepared for boring. We expect it. What we’re not prepared for is “let’s watch Gemma and Davide squeeze lemons into a glass” levels of dull. The two brunette beauties embark on their first date and it’s as monotonous as you’d expect. “How many siblings have you got?” is one of the more interesting questions they can muster. If their date proves anything, it’s that physical attraction means zilch without a spark. It’s looking clearer and clearer that Gemma may come to regret her choice to dump Liam for the Italian stallion. Still no mention of that famous father of hers either – despite a growing list of hints.
Somewhere along the way, Dami and Amber lock lips (and tongues, ew). The jury is still out on whether their kiss is indicative of any lasting future together, but it’s good to see some progression to their storyline. Indiyah and Ikenna, it seems, are dead in the water. Bring in more hotties!
For all the episode’s flaws, it does yield our first morsel of conflict. Ladies and gentlemen, our first love triangle: Andrew, Tasha, and Luca. Sensing a bit of competition from the Brighton fishmonger, Andrew tells Tasha (who he is coupled up with) that she wasn’t in Luca’s top three choice of girls in the villa. “Lies!” Luca assures Tasha; she most definitely is in the top three of ladies he’d like to see naked. By the time Luca tells Paige – by the way, a ridiculous choice of confidante given that they’re currently paired up – that he wants to pull Andrew for a chat about his “snakey” behaviour, we’re biting at the bit for some confrontation. Fight! Fight! Fight! The resulting conversation is actually more mature (read boring), with Andrew quickly admitting to his lie and saying he just “wasn’t thinking straight”. But actions have consequences, and if Tuesday’s dishwasher-tongue kiss wasn’t enough to put Tasha off, spreading lies about her certainly is. She’d already informed Andrew she wants to slow things down, but now it’s looking as though she’s pumped the brakes for good. Could this give rise to our second love triangle of the season, with Luca, Tasha, and Paige in the mix?
The hour is up, and the two bombshells teased in Tuesday night’s episode are still yet to be detonated. Newly single Liam receives a text informing him that the public have voted for him to go on both dates, with Afia and Ekin-Su. This all happens in the final 30 seconds, so there’s still no sign of the newbies. Leave it to Love Island to milk a cliff-hanger for two episodes. See you in three weeks, I guess?
Love Island continues tonight at 9pm on ITV2.